THE British Transplant Games kicked off in style — with archers targeting glory and snooker players potting for gold.
Prior to the official opening ceremony in Victoria Square, events took place across the borough and hundreds of athletes made their way to the Macron Stadium to register for their events.
At Bolton Arena, dozens of athletes picked up their bows and arrows and aimed for the bullseye as the archery event began.
There were events for first-time archers and those with more experience, with teams from hospitals right across the country.
One entrant was Bolton mum and double-lung transplant recipient Natalie Kerr, who was giving archery a go for the first time, under the tutelage of coach Pete Gregan.
She said: “I’ve not done this before but Pete said I’ve got a skill for it — and it is just lovely to be here at the start of the games among all these transplant athletes.”
One winner was Sam Newton, from Spalding in Lincolnshire, who scooped a gold medal in the experienced males aged 30 to 39 group, with a score of 174 out of a possible 180.
The 33-year-old under-went a simultaneous kidney and pancreas transplant just five months ago.
He said: “As soon as I was able to, I was up and practising.
“I was confident of winning because I have done archery since I was three years old.
“This is a great event and gives me a chance to let my donor live on through me. I want to do everything I can to honour them.”
At Bolton Snooker Club, in Manchester Road, Burnden, the atmosphere was tense as players cued off.
Among them was Harwood player Curtis Jackson, who had a heart transplant back in 2010.
After winning his first game, he said: “This is my first time at the Transplant Games, I wanted to get involved with it being in my home town.
“It is great to be playing — four years ago I wouldn’t have been able to even walk around the table.”
TIMETABLE OF EVENTS – FRIDAY AND SATURDAY
- Fishing at Bradshaw Hall Fisheries, 9.30am – 3.30pm.
- Obstacle course at Bolton Arena, 10am – 11.30am.
- Mini tennis at Bolton Arena, 9am – 11.30am.
- Badminton at Bolton Arena, 9am – 3.30am.
- Golf at Regent Park, 9am – 4pm.
- Volleyball at Bolton Arena, 1.30pm – 4.30pm.
- Sport stacking at Bolton Arena, 1.30pm – 3pm.
- Children ball throw at Bolton Arena, 1.30pm – 3.30pm.
- Ten pin bowling at Hollywood Bowl, 2pm – 4.30pm.
- Tennis at Bolton Arena, 5pm – 8.30pm.
- Cycling at UCLAN Sports Arena, 6pm – 8pm.
- Darts at Bolton Whites Hotel, 8.30pm – 10.30pm.
- Table tennis at Bolton Lads and Girls Club, 8.30am – noon.
- Soft cricket at Bolton Arena, 9.30am – 11.30am.
- Children’s swimming at Bolton One, 9.30am – noon.
- Lawn Bowls at Bolton Flat Green Bowling Club, 9.30am – 5pm.
- Walk at Queen’s park, 2pm – 4pm.
- Adult 5-a-side football at Bolton Arena, 1.30pm – 5pm.
- Table tennis at Bolton Lads and Girls Club, 1.30pm – 5pm.
- Adult swimming at Bolton One, 1.30pm – 5pm.
- Children’s 5-a-side football, 2pm – 5.30pm.
- Mini marathon at Leverhulme Park, 6pm – 8.30pm.
- The Bolton News donor run at Leverhulme Park, 6pm – 8.30pm.